As part of the SET Award 2019, the top 100-ranked start-ups who applied for the SET Award were rewarded the opportunity to participate and showcase as part of the Innovation Hub at the 24th World Energy Congress (WEC24) 2019 in Abu Dhabi. Sponsored by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, this incredible opportunity includes travel and accommodation expenses, and a showcase space for the SET100 at the congress.
In the lead up to WEC24, we asked the participating SET100 start-ups to answer a few questions to provide potential partners the opportunity to learn more about them and to also help other start-ups learn from their experiences. We thank them for their work toward the global energy transition and for sharing with us the following insights.
#SET100 Start-up: Leaftech GmbH (Germany)
LeafTech offers data services to increase building energy efficiency and comfort. We setup a digital twin of the examined building and generate a thermal building model. Feeding this model with upcoming weather and usage patterns, we anticipate future energy and comfort demands, and forward the information to the building automation (BA).
Traveling, pitching, partaking in meetings, and networking requires considerable time and effort. Other than perhaps being given a blank check, what is the best case scenario or result you as a start-up hope to get out of participating in initiatives such as the SET platform and the Innovation Hub at the 24th World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi?
For us as a data provider establishing close ties with the building industry and getting new insights into potential business fields is an important factor. Every newly won cooperation partner is worth as much as a blank check.
Given the stage of your start-up and your particular focus/sector/technology, what is one challenge that you have overcome or lesson that you have learned that may be valuable to other similar start-ups?
The first customer is always key. You receive first references and gain the ability to open additional doors with your first project as you gain a proof of concept as well as brand trust.The most important learning during our journey was to reach out to potential customers and partners as early as possible. There is no negative feedback because you learn to understand the way of thinking and the problems of your industry. You can develop the best product in a hidden chamber and still in the end there might be no one buying it because you did not understand the real challenges. Nevertheless it is mandatory to avoid compromising on your IP and to keep technology related secrets hidden in front of your customers and partners.
What is one of the main obstacles or regulations that you have had to overcome prior to, or in preparation of market entry into your given business environment?
The incentives to invest in real estate are currently too low. There is not enough regulative pressure to force building owners to invest in modern, more efficient technologies. In addition a clear focus on CO2 reduction including the complete value chain of solutions is missing. There needs to be a clear ranking system bringing transparency in regards to the effective savings per € invested. Moreover the necessity to invest massively and fullfill regulations if you start modernizing once hampers simple improvements and the realization of single measures which already bring massive benefits.
Thanks for reading and thanks again to LeafTech GmbH. More information about them can be found here: https://www.leaftech.eu/
More about the SET100, including a full list of each SET100 start-up can be found here.